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The Models for Action project seeks to find practical solutions to electronic recordkeeping in networked computing environments. The project incorporates principles from business process analysis, information systems development, electronic records management and archival preservation in order to find solutions that address recordkeeping at all stages of the records life cycle and -- more importantly -- within the context of the business process which the records support.

The first step in this project was to identify the necessary requirements for creating, managing, and preserving access to records that support an organization’s business needs including its legal and evidentiary requirements. Today, more than ever, this depends on compliance with various technology standards and legal and professional guidelines. Such standards allow for communication of records across different computing platforms. They also help to define a “secure” environment, authentication procedures, and terms and conditions for transacting business electronically, and for documenting and attesting to these transactions.

In order to test the project’s tools for identifying record keeping requirements in a practical business application, the Models for Action project is developing a prototype for the New York State Adirondack Park Agency. APA’s Permitting Process currently uses a mix of Geographic Information System information, paper documents, and a small desktop database. The prototype will apply electronic document management and workflow to the agency’s Minor Permitting Process.

A review of technology standards, government policies, legal principals and best practices was conducted in April, 1997 addressing key issues the project expected to encounter during the design and development of the APA prototype. This report outlines the results of that survey and is intended to serve as an introduction to key concepts and to guide the associated choices which APA is excepted to face as they move from a largely paper-based business process to a networked, document management and workflow system.